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[nc-org] Initial Comments on the .ORG RFP

Here are initial comments on the .org RFP. 
On the whole, it is in commendable shape. 

I am happy with the selection criteria proposed. 
In particular, criteria 3 (enhancement of competition), 
4 (differentiation through marketing), 5 (responsiveness 
to noncommercial Internet users) and 6 (responsiveness 
to .org registrants) are well stated. In addition, it is good 
that the wording of criteria 1 (need to preserve a stable, 
well-functioning registry) makes it possible for either the 
applicant or a "member of the proposing team" to possess 
the "demonstrated ability" to operate a large-scale TLD 
registry. This phrasing opens the door for greater competition 
and diversity in applications.

We would like to propose some changes, which we 
consider to be minor:

1. There is nothing in the RFP that makes it clear that applicants 
must keep .org open and not institute some new form of 
restriction or possible eviction of existing registrants. It is possible 
that its status as an open and unsponsored registry is sufficient 
in this regard, but given the strong and widespread support for 
this aspect of the DNSO policy we would prefer to see some 
direct incorporation of that policy in the language of the RFP.

2. In the "Draft .org Proposal Form" paragraph C36 states that 
"evidence that demonstrates support for your proposal among 
registrants in the .org TLD...will be considered." We would like 
to strengthen the wording to say, "...will be an important factor 
in the selection."

3. Appendix K, a list of reserved labels, was included as part of 
the contract with the new .org registry. I do not see how this 
can be done, given .org's legacy registrations. ICANN's list of 
reserved labels conflicts with a number of legitimate, longstanding 
.org registrations. Here are some examples:

Aso.org: The Adrian Symphony Orchestra of Adrian, Michigan, 
registered and used since 1997
Pso.org: The Pacific Symphony Orchestra, registered and used 
since 1995
Edu.org: registered since 1995 by the MacMeckarna Foundation 
of Sweden
Com.org: registered since 1995 by ISKCON Communications and 
used for an email conferencing system
Net.org: registered by the National Environmental Trust
Nic.org: registered and used by the National Investment Center 
for Seniors Housing & Care Industries
Biz.org: registered and used by the Bank for International 

My recollection is that all TF members, the Names Council and 
virtually all comments were in agreement that legitimate existing 
registrants in .org would not be evicted or blocked from renewal 
as part of the transition. This seems to be incompatible with the 
reservation of names called for in Appendix K. Perhaps this is just 
an oversight.

If not, ICANN may want to reconsider the wisdom of Appendix K. 
The long-term existence of these registrations calls into question 
the policy rationale behind many if not most of its name reservations. 
It is evident that the Pacific Symphony Orchestra is perfectly happy 
with its domain name, users are not confused, and neither the 
Protocol Supporting Organization nor the stability of the Internet is 
affected by the use of these labels. Indeed, the idea that the 
existence of an "important" ICANN-related label requires reserving 
that name across ALL top-level domains (and even up into the third 
and fourth levels of the domain name space) is not only unsub-
stantiated, but conflicts with the generally agreed policy that we 
should attempt to differentiate top-level domains. It seems to me that 
there are many legitimate uses of labels such as "ripe" and "iab" 
and that any abuse of these labels to confuse or mislead Internet 
users could be adequately handled under the UDRP.

Due to time constraints I am sending these comments to the 
constituency at the same time as I am sending them to the TF and 
ICANN mgmt. In the unlikely event the constituency as a whole 
wishes to contradict anything asserted here I will let you know 


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